Saturday, December 26, 2009

Saturday, December 05, 2009


I think someone we know might have a wee bit of a prob with thrifting tins at estate sales. I just took them all out and squirreled the smaller ones into bigger ones (let the hubs think some of them found new homes. Not!) All I can say is I hope the vintage Remington Letter-Riter typewriter I just bought is not the start of some other, much heavier, problem.

So, I know I've been away for over a month but all I can say is: ugh, work. While early in the year I had no work to speak of (I'm a marketing writer by trade), now I am swimming in it. It's great to have the income, but I would prefer to dig through some spirit lady's dresser full of vintage linens. What would I do if money were no object? I think traveling, cooking, and baking sound like good ways to spend time. And maybe going out to dig for tins?

This tin, with the courtly couple, I bought off Etsy a while back. It was (is!) full of vintage sewing items. A fun purchase.

The next one, below, with the house scene, is German - from Nuremberg. Dis is a goot one!, as granny used to say. Oh I miss my grandmother, Wilhelmine Hubertina Slavic. She knew so much about keeping house, cooking, managing money, and generally enjoying life. I hope she is looking over my shoulder this minute, reading as I type.

Okay, until the next post...I hope everyone is happy and healthy and enjoying the c-c-c-old weather snuggled inside with a warm cup of tea.

And wishing safe travels to my friend Moni, on her way to Kolkata.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hiking through the Green, Green Forest

Today we went to the Bear Valley visitor's center and took one of the trails up, up, up. We hiked up the mountain 1.8 miles and at the summit we saw this. It was breathtaking. As we were hiking up, we were secluded in forest: moss covered trees, ferns everywhere, lichen, mushrooms, birds, and slugs were along the path. It was a fairly vigorous climb. Then we got to the top and it opened up. We walked out of the forest area, into a meadow, and then through some trees where we beheld this amazing vista out over tree tops all the way to the ocean. The sound of the wind and the crisp, cool air was indescribable. A few times along the path I was like, boy am I struggling, maybe we should turn back. But it was worth seeing. I've never seen anything like it. We saw this dude with his horses as we were hiking back into the forest. There were a lot of folks with horses there today. Lucky horses, huh?

And then as we were leaving, we saw some, um, visitors, outside the visitor's center. So cute! They were all nom, nom, nom on the grass.

Good Morning from Manka's

Oh, oh, oh. We're here!!! I don't know where to begin. Is it the perfect vintage logde-y interior, or the tiny library stocked with old leather-bound books? Or is it American Prayer playing on my Nano? We just had this amazing breakfast that got dropped off in this carrying case thingy that is as cool as you'd expect. Sweet french linen tablecloth to dress the breakfast nook. Homemade yogurt and granola, fresh squeezed Inverness apple juice, buns that just jumped out of the oven. And, a little surprise -- the New York Times was on top. James is outside in the Japanese soaking tub, reading the NYT (snicker). I have so many pictures to post, but couldn't find the cable in J's bag. He will find it later, and maybe tomorrow I'll post pics. What a gorgeous place this is. More to tell soon...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Antiques and Grey Hair

I have a new story that I've been telling lately. It goes something like this: When I turn 60, I'm stopping coloring my hair and I'm opening an antique store. I say it somewhat defiantly waiting for some sort of push back. Then I say, I'm going to make as much money as I can in the next 10 years, and then that's it, I'm opening the antique warehouse. No one really reacts. They just sort of look at me. I crack myself up. I wonder if I'll do it? I'm pretty sure I'll at the minimum stop the dying of the hair. I mean, no offense, but is there anything harder looking than an older woman with really dark hair? Let's not even talk about dark red lipstick. I'm not sure when I turned the corner on the dark lipstick, but boy there was a day that I could rock Mac's Matte Rubine or Santiago. I remember when I was around 19 wearing Christian Dior's no. 492. It was a light almost bluish pink. It looked great. I was 19, how could it not? But as I get closer to my 50th birthday and my hormones start to settle down, I realize that I have aged into having a good head on my shoulders, and this simple fact is so comforting. Of course my friend Sherri will say, oh yeah? then why do you never remember what day it is? Anyway, just wanted to say that I feel it is just so wonderful to be alive, to have a good life, and to be surrounded by people I love and who love me. It's worth so much. It's all there is, really. I feel very grateful today.

This picture is of a little Victorian era sewing basket full of tatting thread. Not sure if I've ever posted it, but I just love this little basket full of colored string.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Beautiful Sky, Kate, and a Bunny

Last week, in the middle of the day, it rained for about 5 minutes. A Florida girl at heart, I miss the rain living here in dry California. I ran outside, threw open my arms and absorbed the few droplets. I then noticed that my neighbors across the street who are sort of above us hill-wise were looking down at me! We all laughed and yelled, "It's raining!" I saw another neighbor outside, too. We get pretty excited here for rain! I snapped this pic of the sky. It was spectacular.

In other news, Miss Kate has been loving her new perch, which is right next to my desk. She inherited it from her cousin, Bogie, who bequeathed it to her in his kitty will.

She's my office assistant. And as you can see, I am always having to get her back on track with those overdue reports. She'd rather make that k-k-k-k-k-i-k-k-k-kik sound at birds and take naps. So cute.

And, then, this bunny! Just in this person's front yard, happily hanging out. I can only hope and imagine that it is their bun. I thought about going up to the door, but we were riding bikes and just kept going. This portly bun looks very well fed, don't you think? So I just got the feeling all was well. How cute is she/he? I think, very...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Could You Nap Here?

I could. Is this bed lovely or what? I love the pillow and the light sheet. The amazing curved wood canopy - wow! I might have to drape something over that! And I also love the distressed, plastered walls. So pretty.

So, sweet blogger friends, I know I've been absent of late. But, it's for a good reason. A while back I posted a shameless "ad" for work, to fill my work-lacking days with a freelance project or two. Well, my days are now very full! I am working with two other folks in a joint venture of sorts, to do marketing consulting for green technology companies. We have our first client, and boy do they have us busy!

But, as I was searching for an older issue of Martha Stewart Living, I came across this picture and had to post it and say "hello." So, hello all! I hope you are doing great and surviving this hot, hot summer. We are turning the corner here in San Diego. It was supposed to be 100 today, but it was nowhere near that. Our weather folks must have had their weather balloons caught in a tree somewhere. :o)

Oh, and if you want to see some amazing photographs, check out this site.

P.S. The source for this photo is this link, though I could not get to the actual site to say exactly who did it or where it is truly from. This is my attempt at a citation. :\

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Basket o' Kate

Basket kitty snuggled upon, two, count 'em, two, vintage fabrics. I'm getting her hooked early. Before I know it, she'll have an email address and an Etsy shop.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Bad Bread, Good Bread

Recently, I wrote to a friend about a banana bread I baked that turned out like a brick. I made it on a Thursday afternoon, then brought some to another friend Friday morning thinking it would be a nice snack on our way to an estate sale. I kind of knew it was not right, but I hadn't tried it yet. She politely evaded the task of sampling it without even saying a word. Or maybe she said, "Oh. It didn't rise," as I uncovered the dense, greyish block. It was actually funny in a not-laughing-out-loud sort of way. There it sat in the back seat of the car, ensconced in paper toweling, behind us, heavy, getting denser every second. A little bit later that morning I wondered aloud if maybe I should cut it into planks and bake it a second time, like you do with biscotti? A day later? I think it's this economy that has me thinking wildly frugal thoughts. After I got home I looked down the list of ingredients and realized I had forgotten the baking soda -- a crucial ingredient. No baking soda doth a hard bread make. Amazing how one little half teaspoon of something can really foul up a bread. However, here we have the lovely, fully risen, wonderfully good banana bread that I made a few days after the dreadful one. Baking soda included.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Barn Sale Fun in the Sun

I've been away a while, but not idle! There's a lot going on here in very warm San Diego. Lots of estate sale foraging (with my good friend who sells her treasures at her Etsy Shop called Betty and Dot!), and barn sale exploring. This is a picture of the barn sale I sifted through a couple weeks ago in Valley Center, CA. Boy was it hot, but boy was it worth it. This barn was chock full of good stuff, and at great prices. I went with my belle mere, Mary. We had such fun...

The sweet wire hair fox terrier, who rules the roost, is named Matilda. She has her own blog here, and from this blog there are tons of great links to other vintagey-wonderful places.

And how about this awesome old truck?

Also in junk news, I watched this video the other day by the family who does The Junk Gypsy Company. Their life is truly an inspiration. Check out this fun video of their story. I love that it's a Mom and her two girls and they just do what they love and make some money along the way, as a family. What could be more idyllic.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Canvas Playtime

A couple of years ago I painted this very canvas using a stamping tool from India -- one of those carved wooden pieces used to stamp saris. It was okay, but all the stamping probably should have involved fabric rather than canvas. So, the canvas made it's way to the garage because it really didn't go with anything color-wise. I dragged it out the other day and repainted it, in about 30 minutes, and this is the result. James asked what my inspiration was, and I didn't have an answer. I just started squishing paint out of the tubes onto the canvas, then added some silk thread to the bottom burnt sienna part. Then I started smoothing parts of it, where the colors converged, with my hands! It was really fulfilling in a relaxing, expressive sort of way. You know, when you find something that you really enjoy doing? :o) I should point more.

A Bike Ride Along the Boardwalk

I'm finally back to blogland people! Thanks for not writing me off! Trust me, it's not that I haven't thought of you all and been squealing with joy when you leave a comment, because I have. I just get behind the 8-ball sometimes. But here I am! And, with a story to tell.

So, anyone who knows me knows I'm not a big exercise person, and right up there with exercise ennui is my dislike of being cold. I'm one of those folks who forgets to dress warmly enough for the activity, whether it's a night out to dinner, taking in an outdoor play (at the Old Globe), or even going for a walk or bike ride. Doiy. I know. Well, I got a few things right this past Sunday...and ended up doing something I've been talking about doing for weeks, maybe months. This was the scenery. The first two pics are of no one in particular, just the view from the boardwalk:

Of note, this Sunday made the second Sunday that hubs and I did something together. Last Sunday, we took Saylor (our Labrador; but you know that) to the beach at Coronado. A classic beach trip with blanket and snacks and magazines. James threw the toy for Saylor and I chilled on the blanket. We spent about 3 great hours, just relaxing in the pristine weather. Not that we don't do things together, but orchestrated outings are sort of rare. He's into surfing, windsurfing, and walking the dog, and I'm into estate sales and indoor suff -- you know, embroidery, napping (ha!), blog surfing, a little telly, reading...simple stuff that generally takes place indoors. I'm pretty low-key and hubs is athletic. So, our schedules rarely mesh - I'm here, he's out and about. But this weekend, it all came together. We went bike riding on the boardwalk along Mission Beach! First, we stopped by J.'s brother's house and borrowed a couple of their many bikes. I rode Fiona's old Ross 3-speed with a wire basket. James took a beach cruiser. And off we went! The weather was perfect, and hey, I even had the right jacket. This coming from a woman who turns 50 this year. Are things coming together? Have I actually grown up and didn't notice?

We also stopped by the yacht club to see Fred who was there with his girls preparing the boat for their trip to Catalina island. Fred goes across in the boat, and the girls and Fi take the ferry, then they all stay on the boat. He's looking pretty nautical, no?

Ahhh, what a great day.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

My Vacation and the Photo Mishap

And I use the word mishap, heavily, oh-so-heavily. As heavy as my heart was on the last day of my southern adventure when I deleted every single last one of my pictures. And there were so many...oh, 150? Eeeek! But I will push past my bitterness (actually, it is why it has taken me so long to post - I was so mad!) and get on with the recap! I did take about 10 shots after the unspeakable event. However, among those are not the ones of the gardens at the Biltmore, or the two older men facing each other while napping on a garden bench as their wives undoubtedly explored the gardens. They were so cute.

Moving on...ha! So, about Cashiers, North Carolina. It's outside Highlands and has a main intersection, and that's about it. The population as of the 2000 Census was 196, but grows to 20k during the "season." It is quite a little gem -- full of beautiful homes, antique shops, and great places to eat. The mountains are gorgeous, and just driving down the road is breathtaking. Although the weather was predicted to be bad - stormy, rainy - it turned out to be beautiful: sunny, and with crisp, cool mountain air. Just incredible. We went to the Cashier's Farmers Market, where outside in a little pen the darlingest black and white piglet, Biscuit, was entertaining everyone. He was the cleanest, sweetest little bundle ever. I wanted to take him home. The inside of the market great, with wide plank wood floors and tons of shelves overflowing with canned goodies. There was also a cooler filled with all kinds of shelled peas and mountain berries. I bought some blueberries - they were fantastic. This picture is from the inside of the shop (from the shop's web site).

This roadside gas station - a Sinclair station! - brought back childhood memories for my sis-in-law, Sheri. I did have another huge picture of a big Sinclair sign that was nailed to the back of the farmer's market, but, um, we're not talking about that I thought. :\ Well, I at least broke the spell, and did a post! I'll be back with more soon. So good to "see" you all again. It's good to be home.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Southern Adventure

Inman Park Atlanta GA by
Hola, mi amours... I am posting remotely from the lovely
Inman Park, locale of the sweetest cluster of beautiful
Victorian homes of all sizes and colors -- big, beautiful,
multi-roomed, multi-colored Victorians. I'm visiting
my friend, Moni, and then on Thursday, I go with my
sis-in-law and niece to No. Carolina to stay for a few
days ... to relax, and spend time together. Can't wait.
This photo is actually from Flickr, but I took the exact
one just tonight on our way back from dinner, at a
wonderful restaurant called Parish Market. I have
so many pictures to post when I return. I've been
a regular shutterbug. :o) See you soon!

Note: I am using all the goofy carriage returns because
posting on a MacBook, well, it ain't so intuitive as
you would think. I am such a PC girl...

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Buffet Happiness

It arrived! The buffet is here. It's actually been here a while. This picture is just not capturing its beauty though. :o) On top, at left, is a papier mache oyster from Bell'Occhio. On the right, also from Bell'Occhio, is a basket that I keep silver flatware in - on the web site they call it a hamper! Why a basket, when there is a silver box? I kinda hate silver boxes. To me, they can be really somber and dark. So, with this easy open basket, in goes the flatware where it remains accessible and ready to use for any old reason. Why save that stuff? Use it! Although, have you ever noticed that silver forks get tiny teeth indentions on them? I guess it is a soft-ish metal. Hm? Maybe dinners should start with some reminder that we don't bite our forks. Ha! Bon Apetite! Don't bite your fork!

And, a close up of these beautiful hot pink roses!!!
They smelled great, too...

Friday, July 03, 2009

Happy 4th Everyone!

Hoo-ray! It's time to get your feet sandy at the beach or the lake, go visit a local monument (we're going here to walk around and enjoy the sun and sea), or wave a flag or light a sparkler! Or all of the above! I am going to get some sparklers - just because.

Hugs to everyone out there in blog land.

Happy 4th of July!,

Photo credit: here